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Deputies use thermal imaging drone to rescue 78-year-old man from embankment

Alexander County Sheriffs were looking for a 78-year-old man after a family member reported he had left the home on an ATV and did not return.

ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. — Alexander County Sheriff’s Office used a thermal imaging drone to rescue a missing 78-year-old man from down an embankment in the Stony Point community Wednesday evening. 

Deputies were called to a residence located off of Beam Lane in reference to a missing person just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Deputies arrived at the residence and family members reported that a 78-year-old man had left the residence alone on a side by side ATV around 4:30 PM and had not returned home. 

A search effort was coordinated by local first responders to begin looking for the missing 78-year-old due to temperatures in the 30’s and the rains at the time, as well as the missing person’s age and medical problems, Alexander County Sheriff’s said. 

Alexander County EMS, Alexander County Rescue Squad, Stony Point Fire Department, Alexander County Emergency Management, along with Alexander County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search. A K-9 from Iredell County Sheriff’s Office was on standby for the search. 

Deputies began the search effort by utilizing a recently purchased drone. The drone has thermal-imaging capabilities. Deputies said around 10 p.m. the drone’s thermal imaging indicated a heat source down an embankment in a wooded area on the property. The Alexander County Rescue Squad ATV Team was dispatched to the area, where they rescued the the78-year-old man and began providing first aid. The victim was taken to Iredell Memorial Hospital. 

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